Northwestern State improves to 6-1 after wins over Xavier (La.) and LSUA

Rhea Verma won both of her singles and doubles matches Saturday to help lead the Lady Demons to a pair of convincing victories CREDIT: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services

By Jonathon Zenk, NSU Sports Information Graduate Assistant

NATCHITOCHES— The Northwestern State women’s tennis team received a strong performance from Rhea Verma to lead the team to a pair of non-conference wins, 6-1 against No. 3 (NAIA) Xavier (New Orleans) and 7-0 over LSU Alexandria Saturday at the Jack Fisher Tennis Complex.

NRMC – Dr. Akhtar – Sept. 2022 – 300×250

The Lady Demons (6-1) surged in front in both matches by winning the doubles point, and did not look back. Head coach Patric DuBois liked the focus and aggressiveness his team showed throughout the day.

“I liked the way we played,” DuBois said. “We were ready and aggressive from point one, all the way through, in all matches against a good Xavier team. We then came back to play at a high level and good process against another tough LSUA team.”

Verma, a redshirt freshman from Toronto, swept her four matches in singles and doubles. It began with a dominating 6-1 performance in doubles, along with partner Patrycja Polanska, dispatching Xavier’s Lacee Ancar and Charlene Goreau. The pair rolled 6-1 against LSUA’s Patricia Martinez Molina and Patricia Perez.

In singles, she started with a hard-fought 7-6 (10-3), 6-4 victory over Xavier’s Angela Charles-Alfred before cruising to a 6-1, 6-0, victory over LSUA’s Niamh Packer. She had faced Packer in a Feb. 3 meeting between the two teams, and won 6-2, 6-2.

“Charles-Alfred is left-handed and players like her are usually tricky to play because of her spin,” Verma said. “But I was able to adjust to that and win. I knew exactly what to expect in my second against Packer because I played her before, so I am happy I was able to take care of business.”

After losing her first two singles decisions of the season, she has won five straight.

“I am regaining my rhythm with every match I play after redshirting last year,” Verma said. “The support of my teammates really inspires me to play good tennis.”

Junior Judit Castillo Gargallo maintained her perfect singles record, handily defeating LSUA’s Katheryne Campos 6-0, 6-2 for her sixth straight victory. In doubles, she and partner Emilija Dancetovic remained undefeated, escaping with a 6-4 win over Yi Chen Pao and Alfred, before dismantling the LSUA tandem of Campos and Packer 6-1.

Junior Ela Iwaniuk carried her strong play with a commanding 6-0, 6-1 victory in the No. spot against Xavier’s Pao. After a tough three-set loss at Tulane to open the year, she has rallied to win five consecutive matches.

“Ela is certainly a pleasure to coach,” DuBois said. “She works very hard, plays very smart and never complains. She just continues to be a steady force for our team in every way.”

Polanska also has won five in a row in singles, as she soundly defeated her two opponents, XULA’s Farah Baklouti 6-3, 6-2, and Patricia Perez of LSUA by 6-2, 6-1.

While Dancetovic has dominated at doubles with Castillo Gargallo, she played her first singles match of the season against LSUA and was in control throughout in a 6-0, 6-1 romp over Patricia Martinez Molina.

The Lady Demons hit the road for one match, next Friday at North Texas, before returning home for the conference opener against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi March 1.


Northwesern State 6, Xavier (New Orleans) 1

Women’s Tennis at Natchitoches, LA – Jack Fisher Tennis Complex


  1. Mariia Borodii (XULA) def. Maria Skyba 6-2, 6-3
  2. Polina Mutel (NSU) def. Charlene Goreau 6-4, 6-2
  3. Rhea Verma (NSU) def. Angela Charles-Alfred 7-6 (10-3), 6-4
  4. Patrycja Polanska (NSU) def. Farah Baklouti 6-3, 6-2
  5. Ela Iwaniuk (NSU) def. Yi Chen Pao 6-0, 6-1
  6. Antonia Blattner (NSU) def. Angelica De Vincenzis 6-3, 6-4



  1. Mariia Borodii/Farah Baklouti (XULA) def. Polina Mutel/Maria Skyba 6-2
  2. Patrycja Polanska/Rhea Verma (NSU) def. Lacee Ancar/Charlene Goreau 6-1
  3. Emilija Dancetovic/Judit Castillo Gargallo (NSU) def. Yi Chen Pao/Angela Charles-Alfred 6-4


Northwesern State 6, LSU-Alexandria 1

Women’s Tennis at Natchitoches, LA – Jack Fisher Tennis Complex


  1. Maria Skyba (NSU) def. Miljana Milojevic 6-2, 6-3
  2. Rhea Verma (NSU) def. Niamh Packer 6-1, 6-0
  3. Patrycja Polanska (NSU) def. Patricia Perez 6-2, 6-1
  4. Antonia Blattner (NSU) def. Marie Cool 7-5, 6-2
  5. Emilija Dancetovic (NSU) def. Patricia Martinez Molina 6-0, 6-1
  6. Judit Castillo Gargallo (NSU) def. Katheryne Campos 6-0, 6-2



  1. Maria Skyba/Polina Mutel (NSU) def. Miljana Milojevic/Marie Cool 6-0
  2. Rhea Verma/Patrycja Polanska (NSU) def. Patricia Martinez Molina/Patricia Perez 6-1
  3. Judit Castillo Gargallo/Emilija Dancetovic (NSU) def. Katheryne Campos/Niamh Packer 6-1


Match Notes:
Northwestern State 6-1
Xavier (La.) 2-3
Order of finish: Doubles (1,2,3); Singles (5,2,4,1,6,3)

T-2:15 A-31


LSU-Alexandria 0-2

Order of finish: Doubles (3,2,1); Singles (5,6,2,1,3,4)

T-2:00 A-25